Last Friday (October 9th) saw London based indie four-piece Gengahr grace the stage of Nottingham’s The Bodega. A packed room and an eclectic age range of spectators meant that from doors to performances there was indeed an excitable feel in the air. But before I talk about the headliners, I have to talk the support acts…
First up were female-fronted psych-pop quintet PUMAROSA. Songs ranged from discotheque synth pop to moodier Kate Bush inspired ballads. With an addition of sax and sampling, as well as hefty grooved Motown-enthused bass lines, the band got people jiving and shaking as the five-piece warmed the audience up. The highlight of their set reigned with the exceptionally danceable “Priestess”, which showed frontwoman Isabel Munoz-Newsome showing off her best dance moves. As the song shifted and built upon its existing ideas, Priestess’ texture and drive followed suit, creating a remarkable live song that was as entertaining as it was intuitive. Some minor technical issues aside, Pumarosa’s set was a delicate yet stimulating start to the night.
Electro-pop three piece CASH+DAVID were up next. Bringing their The XX-influenced (yet more up-beat) quintessential driving dance grooves, Cash+David’s simplistic yet effective formula was warmly welcomed by the Nottingham crowd. With Liz Lawrence’s Cure-esque guitar lines and gravely vocals, the songs ranged from the dancey tracks of “Pulse” (which featured exciting samba grooves and trip-hop The Knife influences), to the moodier tracks of “X”. An exciting set, Cash+David were at their best with the heavier synth-laden tracks that moved and pushed the songs when Lawrance’s vocals were nether-present.
Put simply, GENGAHR delived. With a performance that featured little to no break, Brand New and Queens of the Stone Age stylised fuzzy guitar solos, an eclectic mix of influences and a setlist chock-full of fantastically written psych/indie songs, Gengahr’s set was undoubtably brilliant. With a close to sold-out crowd, the Londoners shunned every expectation and dazzled it with surprise. As Felix’s falsetto aired over the wall of psych-fuzz and heavy Beatle’s inspired chord progressions, every song imploded as the band smashed through a set full of songs from their latest LP “A Dream Outside” to their most recent EP “Tired Eyes”.
The band left a last surprise with an unexpected encore. As the ceiling lights reignited themselves to one-crowd member still shouting “play ‘She’s a witch!’”, the ceiling lights instantaneously turned
themselves off, for Felix to begin an encore solo before the rest of the band joined. Ending with their well-known (and highly requested) track “She’s A Witch”, Gengahr’s set was full of top songs and top moments, delivered with a fool-proof confidence and integrity.
Review by Joshua Hall